TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Head of Jakarta's Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) blood transfusion unit, Shalimar Salim, revealed the shortage of supplies amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The shortage has been felt since March, which happened after President Jokowi officially announced the country’s first confirmed case.
“The current blood supply is far from our daily needs,” he said on Wednesday, May 13.
According to Shalimar, the need for blood in Jakarta could reach up to 800-1,000 blood bags daily despite only having around 200 blood bags. The main problem is that many blood donors and institutions have averted from donating their blood ever since the pandemic broke.
“Many instances have canceled their blood donation events since March. Twelve out of 14 have canceled blood donations,” he said.
The fasting month of Ramadan has also contributed to the reduced blood supply as it is an annual recurring trend but is made worse by the pandemic this year since PMI Jakarta has no more reserve left to supply hospitals in the capital city.
He said that blood supplies this month was helped by the blood donations from the Armed Forces (TNI) and Police personnel along with other smaller communities that have supplied PMI with blood donations.
The Indonesian Red Cross assures that blood donors are safe from coronavirus as its healthcare officials strongly abide by the strict health protocol.
“We also apply physical distancing among other health protocols. So there is no need to worry about donating your blood,” said Shalimar to encourage more donors to donate their blood.